Bishop Buckley: Prayer is Necessary for Renewal of Church

Bishop of Cork Releases Pastoral Letter for Year of Faith

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CORK, Ireland, DEC. 10, 2012 (Zenit.org).- Bishop John Buckley of the dioceses of Cork and Ross, Ireland, published a pastoral letter earlier this month to mark the Year of Faith.

In his letter, the bishop expresses his hope that this Year of Faith will be a time of renewal for the Church, remarking that "renewal can only take place in the context of prayer."

"There is no other way to renewal; there never has been or never will be. There is no religious renewal in the Church's history, except through men and women who listen to the Word, who pray together, who are nourished by the Bread of Life and who reach out to people, especially the weak and the vulnerable. The Lord renews the Church in every age by raising up men and women outstanding in holiness. All renewal begins with what the Second Vatican Council calls the ‘Universal Call to Holiness’. How often do we read in the gospel of Jesus going out to a lonely place to pray?"

The letter called the faithful to entrust the Year of Faith to the "unfailing intercession and protection of Mary. Devotion to Mary is deeply interwoven in our faith. Mary herself was asked to believe that the One whom she conceived through the power of the Holy Spirit was indeed the Son of God. 'Blessed is she who believed' (Luke 1:45). We entrust this Year of Faith to her motherly care."

Bishop Buckley concluded: "I encourage each person to extend an invitation to one other person to rediscover the joy of faith during this year. Like Andrew in the Gospel, who brought Peter to Jesus, we too must reach out to people. This follows from our baptismal commitment. I will end with the words of the psalmist: 'May your love be upon us, O Lord, as we place all our hope in you.'"

The Year of Faith commenced on October 11, 2012, and will conclude on November 24, 2013, the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ Universal King.